At some phase, each of us will be confronted with the impurities of our hearts. The Holy Spirit reveals our sinfulness not to condemn us but to establish humility and deepen the knowledge of our need for grace. It is at this crossroad that both holy men and hypocrites are bred. Those who become holy see their need and fall prostrate before God for grace and forgiveness. Those who become hypocrites are they who, in seeing their sin, excuse it and thus remain intact. Though all men must eventually stand at this juncture, few are they who embrace the voice of truth; few are they indeed who will walk humbly toward true holiness. — Francis Frangipane in his book Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God
Yesterday I found myself at this juncture once again. I can think of nothing more heart wrenching than to be shown the impurities of your own heart by a holy God. But I am so very thankful that He loves us enough to show us. I am so thankful that He still convicts and lets the spirit of repentance fall. I am so thankful that He forgives. I am so thankful that He then shows you how He wishes you to proceed beyond forgiveness.
See, sometimes Father requires that we go to a person or group of people and humble ourselves and apologize for words spoken or not spoken; for actions taken or not taken. The Bible says in James 5:16:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We sometimes like to skip over that part. We let it go and say it was no big deal. Truly yesterday I had to ask forgiveness for some words I spoke. They weren’t what some would consider harsh words but the words I spoke were not grounded in love, compassion, and support for God’s children. He does look at the heart, you know! So here I was and I knew I had to go not only to the person I spoke them to but also to those that were present when I spoke them. I tried to get out of it. Believe me, I tried. I tried to excuse it away – they won’t remember and even if they do will I not be dredging up old stuff? Oh, we can come up with some great excuses, can’t we?
But I know the voice of the Lord and I really know the conviction of the Lord. When I was first saved I asked the Holy Ghost one day to give me a heart of repentance. I desired a heart that was sensitive to conviction and always ready to ask forgiveness of Him and make amends quickly with anyone I hurt along the way. He gave me that heart and it is not always easy. I don’t always do it perfectly and I am surely not usually graceful in the process. Sometimes it makes others more uncomfortable than I am. But there is something about repentance and confession that sets us all free.
So I apologized not once but to several different people. It was HARD and in the end, not one of them even remembered my words and some didn’t even hear the conversation and all of them thought it was no big deal. BUT that didn’t matter so much because – God heard and to Him what He heard and saw in my heart was a big deal. While He doesn’t remember our sin past that moment of forgiveness, He told me to go to each of them and He does remember that. He knows why He wanted me to do that because He knows His plans for each one of us.
In the end, we stand at the crossroads and the roads lead to holiness and Life or to death. What is holiness? Where can you find the presence of the Lord? His presence demands obedience to His Word, His voice, and His call. His presence demands a clean heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. ~ Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart oh God… We quote the scripture, sing the song, and we ask that of our God in prayer. And then He answers….